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The marketer’s guide for managing today’s privacy ecosystem

Posted by Stuart Walters on September 10, 2020

Growing concerns about privacy have set in motion a series of changes that will reshape the digital marketing industry for years to come. This blog post is a summary of Google’s The marketer’s playbook for navigating today’s privacy environment which you can read and download from their website.

Among the most notable of these is people’s growing concern over how data is collected, used and shared online. In fact, searches for “online privacy” have grown globally by more than 50% year over year.

Governments around the world have passed new privacy regulations and expanded existing laws. Technology platforms such as browsers and mobile operating systems have announced or implemented new policies that restrict commonly used identifiers.


What you can do to respond


Build direct relationships with your customers.

Despite changing business conditions and evolving user expectations, you still need to find and connect with your customers. As users continue to embrace new devices and technologies, there are arguably more opportunities than ever before to form meaningful relationships with customers, and to do so in a way that does not compromise on trust.

Let’s look at ways to:

  • Establish a direct connection with your audience
  • Deepen your relationships with customers
  • Work with partners who also put users first


Establish a direct connection with your audience

When people interact directly with your business - by visiting your website, using your app, making a phone call to your business, or purchasing from one of your stores - it provides an opportunity to learn more about who they are and how you can address their needs.

The information that is collected from customers in these direct interactions is called first-party data. It is particularly valuable because it is unique to your business and the relationship you have with your customers. That’s why it’s important that you have the tools - and permission when required - to collect first-party data wherever those direct interactions might take place.

You should invest in a comprehensive first-party measurement solution, where cookies are set only when someone has contact with your site. Google’s global site tag and Google Tag Manager offer this capability for example.

Have a mobile app? Incorporate a software development kit (SDK) that’s designed to help you gather information from the actions people take when they download and engage with your app.

Invest in a customer relationship management (CRM) tool to help you capture and organise the information that’s shared by people during interactions with your business in the offline world. You can link this offline data with your advertising and measurement tools. Here at AAI, we recommend HubSpot Free.


Deepen your relationships with customers

Once you’ve established a connection with your audience, you should find ways to learn more about them so that you can strengthen those relationships. Customers will feel more comfortable sharing information with you that will help you serve them better, if they see that they’re getting value in return.

  • Provide convenience in exchange for people’s contact information, like notifying them when a favourite item is in stock or their order status has changed
  • Invite people to register and sign into an account or loyalty program where they can receive exclusive content, personalised recommendations and reward credits
  • Offer a deal or coupon when people agree to provide their email address or phone number and receive your marketing communications
  • Encourage customers to download your mobile app and ensure it offers compelling ways to engage your brand

Once you’ve determined how to use customer information to deliver better experiences, it’s important to communicate it to people clearly so that they know what they’re agreeing to. Make sure your privacy policy is easily accessible and up-to-date with your latest practices, and consider explaining the contents of your policy in clear language. Tell your customers how they can exercise control over the data that’s collected, including how to opt out of tracking or submit a request to have information deleted. Keep that trust with your customers.


Work with partners who also put users first

Another responsibility you have to your customers involves being thoughtful about the business partners you work with. Choose partners that also prioritise user privacy, and recognise how to earn and keep people’s trust.

With so many different privacy regulations being introduced around the world, you’ll want to make sure their practices comply with all applicable laws for collecting, using and sharing data.

Even setting aside the potential legal ramifications, it’s important that you consider whether the practices of a business partner or vendor align with your values.


Be flexible with how you reach audiences and measure results

Developing a strategy to build stronger customer relationships is fundamental, but these days, marketers must also consider a number of additional factors - such as privacy laws, GDPR, platform constraints and people’s individual expectations before making decisions for how best to engage audiences, and measure what happens.

Let’s discover how you can:

  • Consider different ways of using first-party data
  • Learn more about your audience from the partners you work with
  • Find options to engage your audience when personalisation is limited
  • Rely on privacy-forward methods to fill measurement gaps


Consider different ways of using first-party data

As you build relationships with your customers, you can analyse the data that’s collected during your interactions so that you can understand them better, including the types of ads and experiences that they’d find meaningful.

For example, how people interact with your website or app can offer clues as to what their interests and preferences might be.

Another way you can use first-party data to engage customers is by working with partners who also have a relationship with the same customers. For example, when there’s a group of people who’ve given both your business and Google the same contact information, Customer Match can help you reach the users you have in common.

If you upload a data file (Encrypted of course) of contact information, such as the email addresses or phone numbers your customers have given you, Google can then provide opportunities to reach those people when they’re engaging Google’s services or browsing the web — all while protecting the confidentiality and security of your customer data in the process. You can also do this with Facebook and many other social media websites too.


Learn more about your audience from the partners you work with

By working with the right media and content partners, you can find other meaningful ways of using first-party data to reach the audiences you care about. Perhaps you’ve identified a valuable group of customers and the partner has content that’s particularly interesting to them. If the partner offers an opportunity to advertise on its content, work with the partner to determine the most relevant message to send.


Find options to engage your audience when personalisation is limited

You usually want to deliver the most appropriate message possible when they connect with audiences. For instance, when users are open to seeing personalised ads, you can tailor your ad for the audience. But when you cannot personalise ads for users – because they haven’t consented or cookies are blocked – pay attention to the context of the ad instead, such as the content on the web page or site where the ad will appear.

These days, marketers also have greater access to new technologies, such as machine learning, to improve how ads can be matched with the most relevant context.

It’s good practice to keep track of how often you’ve shown people an ad so that you can avoid bothering them repeatedly and creating frustration with your brand. But managing the frequency of your display ads across websites has traditionally depended on the use of a third-party cookie. By comparison, counting the ad impressions that happen on a single website can be just as helpful for managing your ad frequency. For instance, when third-party cookies are blocked, you can rely on a first-party cookie to keep track of your ad impressions instead.


Rely on privacy-forward methods to fill measurement gaps

One of the benefits of digital marketing is the ability to learn what happens after people interact with your ads. But when it’s harder to observe conversions directly, either because of cross-device measurement challenges, browser restrictions or people’s consent choices, you need to rely on other methods to fill the gaps in your reporting.

Let’s take browser restrictions, for example. You can still get reliable reporting through Google’s conversion tracking for your advertising campaigns, even when direct conversion measurement isn’t possible. Say that a cookie isn’t present for you to be able to attribute a conversion that happened as the result of a user interacting with an ad on a particular browser.

By analysing patterns from past conversion data, including the performance of your ads on other browsers, where direct tracking is possible, a model can be created to confidently predict how people will respond to your ads when direct measurement is blocked. That way, you can still report on conversion activity in a privacy-centric way when cookies have been blocked.


Manage data and discover insights in a privacy-centric way

Once you’ve built strong direct relationships with users and planned for scenarios where you’ll need to be flexible with how you engage your audience, consider investing in cloud technology to organise and activate the data collected during all those interactions.


  • Bring all your data into a secure location to uncover insights
  • Make better decisions by predicting the outcomes of your marketing
  • Analyse detailed campaign data while protecting user privacy


Bring all your data into a secure location to uncover insights

First-party data can come from customer interactions spread across your advertising campaigns, websites, apps and physical locations. Brands can gain a better understanding of their customers and how to serve them more effectively when they bring all this information together and analyse it for insights. Cloud-based solutions are increasingly being used by marketers to manage data while protecting user privacy. That’s because cloud technology offers inherent privacy and security advantages when it comes to storing and organising large data sets, such as encrypting all data by default and setting parameters for who has access to that data. In addition to these benefits, cloud solutions also open up other, more advanced ways for you to examine data, uncover new insights, and act on them by integrating with your marketing tools.


Make better decisions by predicting the outcomes of your marketing

When you’ve merged data into a cloud-based data warehouse, a data analyst can help you do more advanced analysis on the data. For example, they can train machine learning models using historical customer information to predict or anticipate the outcomes of future interactions with your customers. This can help you to make better decisions, such as who to reach and how much to spend, based on their likelihood to respond.


Analyse detailed campaign data while protecting user privacy

Because cloud technology has inherent advantages when it comes to managing user privacy and security, it’s the ideal platform for data clean rooms, where media providers can provide access to detailed, event-level data that lets advertisers analyse campaign results in a way that doesn’t compromise user privacy.






Privacy Policy – Alexander Advertising International Ltd

This website is operated by Alexander Advertising International and whose registered address is Ispden House, Lutpon Road, Wallingford, OX10 9BS. We are committed to protecting and preserving the privacy of our visitors when visiting our site or communicating electronically with us.

This policy sets out how we process any personal data we collect from you or that you provide to us through our website. We confirm that we will keep your information secure and that we will comply fully with all applicable UK Data Protection legislation and regulations. Please read the following carefully to understand what happens to personal data that you choose to provide to us, or that we collect from you when you visit this site. By visiting (our website) you are accepting and consenting to the practices described in this policy.

Types of information we may collect from you

We may collect, store and use the following kinds of personal information about individuals who visit and use our website:

Information you supply to us. You may supply us with information about you by filling in forms on our website. This includes information you provide when you submit a contact/enquiry form. The information you give us may include your name, address, e-mail address and phone number.

Information our website automatically collects about you. With regard to each of your visits to our website we may automatically collect information including the following:


Our website uses cookies to distinguish you from other users of our website. This helps us to provide you with a good experience when you browse our website and also allows us to improve our site. For detailed information on the cookies we use and the purposes for which we use them see our Cookie Policy.

How we may use the information we collect

We use the information in the following ways:

Information you supply to us. We will use this information:

Information we automatically collect about you. We will use this information:

This information is collected anonymously and is not linked to information that identifies you as an individual. We also use Google Analytics to track this information. Find out how Google uses your data at

Google Analytics Data Usage
Disclosure of your information

Any information you provide to us will either be emailed directly to us or may be stored on a secure server located in the UK. We use a trusted third-party website and hosting provider (Perfect Web Design) to facilitate the running and management of this website. Perfect Web Design meet high data protection and security standards and are bound by contract to keep any information they process on our behalf confidential. Any data that may be collected through this website that Perfect Web Design process, is kept secure and only processed in the manner we instruct them to. Perfect Web Design cannot access, provide, rectify or delete any data that they store on our behalf without permission.

We do not rent, sell or share personal information about you with other people or non-affiliated companies.

We will use all reasonable efforts to ensure that your personal data is not disclosed to regional/national institutions and authorities, unless required by law or other regulations.

Unfortunately, the transmission of information via the internet is not completely secure. Although we will do our best to protect your personal data, we cannot guarantee the security of your data transmitted to our site; any transmission is at your own risk. Once we have received your information, we will use strict procedures and security features to try to prevent unauthorised access.

Third party links

Our site may, from time to time, contain links to and from the third-party websites. If you follow a link to any of these websites, please note that these websites have their own privacy policies and that we do not accept any responsibility or liability for these policies. Please check these policies before you submit any personal data to these websites.

Your rights – access to your personal data

You have the right to ensure that your personal data is being processed lawfully (“Subject Access Right”). Your subject access right can be exercised in accordance with data protection laws and regulations. Any subject access request must be made in writing to We will provide your personal data to you within the statutory time frames. To enable us to trace any of your personal data that we may be holding, we may need to request further information from you. If you have a complaint about how we have used your information, you have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

Changes to our privacy policy

Any changes we may make to our privacy policy in the future will be posted on this page and, where appropriate, notified to you by e-mail. Please check back frequently to see any updates or changes to our privacy policy.


Questions, comments and requests regarding this privacy policy are welcomed and should be addressed to